Road closures for Victoria Promenade junction changes have hit Northampton retailers hard, Labour claims

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Shops in a Northampton street have lost up to 70 percent in trade during roadworks, according to a Labour borough councillor.

Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) said traders have reported losses of between 25 percent and 70 percent since the roadworks began earlier this year.

The work is part of an improvement plan by Northamptonshire County Council to the Bedford Road intersection with Victoria Promenade to increase capacity and ease congestion.

During the works, Derngate Road has been closed from the junction to Spring Gardens, while the existing permanent signals have been replaced with temporary three-way traffic signals, allowing traffic to manoeuvre between Victoria Promenade, Bedford Road and Cheyne Walk.

Councillor Stone said: “As the ward councillor for this area I have made a very quick survey of the impact of the road closures on trade for Derngate Road retailers.

“They report a 25 percent to 70 percent reduction in trade. This is very serious. I am aware from the Highways Department of all the measures they put in place to notify the public about the road closures and they sent out 250 letters to local businesses.

“However, the letters did not arrive in a timely fashion and some retailers were given just three days’ notice,” Councillor Stone claimed.

Retailers are not automatically entitled to compensation due to any losses caused by the roadworks.

“As the road improvement works are a partnership of the county and the borough, I suggest that businesses pursue a claim for a reduction – or suspension – of business rates for the year,” she added.

Speaking ahead of the works starting, Councillor Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “This is the latest component in a whole raft of work that is taking place across the town to help boost economic growth.

“Not only will the enhancement make this a very attractive entrance to the town but it will also reduce congestion.

“Most of all though this is helping remove potential barriers to the regeneration of Northampton town centre and provide greater confidence for investors that key sites can be released for development,” he said.